V&A Dundee will feature robotics with the exhibition Hello, Robot
V&A Dundee will feature robotics with the exhibition Hello, Robot

Robots and videogames to feature at the V&A

V&A Dundee’s 2019 international exhibition programme will feature videogames, robots and the future of design.

Scotland’s first design museum will celebrate the design and culture of contemporary videogames with the V&A’s spectacular show Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt, which will run from 20 April to 8 September 2019.

This is the first exhibition to fully consider the complexity of videogames as one of the most important design fields of our time. Today there are an estimated 2.2 billion people who play videogames worldwide, from commuters playing on mobile phones to eSports professionals watched by tens of thousands of spectators.

The exhibition focuses on videogames designed and developed since the mid-2000s when major technological advancements transformed the way games are designed, discussed and played. From multi-million-dollar blockbuster titles to smaller independent games and the work of DIY artists from a hacker/maker culture, the exhibition explores current international debates as well as the creative contributions made to game culture by the players themselves.

Alongside the exhibition there will be a varied programme of events, talks, commissions and learning workshops inspired by videogame design that will reflect the local expertise of Scottish designers, companies and academics in the field.

As part of this programme, V&A Dundee is today calling on designers with a link to Scotland to submit a proposal for a digital game commission that explores character development and the idea of self in videogames. The appointed designer will be chosen by a panel including experts from the Dundee videogame industry and will develop their game for V&A Dundee’s website. The commission will be supported by InGAME, an Abertay University-led games innovation partnership.

V&A Dundee will then go on to examine the current boom in robotics with the exhibition Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine which will run from 2 November 2019 to 23 February 2020. This groundbreaking exhibition investigates the science and fiction of robots and looks at how they are changing the world we live in.

V&A Dundee will feature robotics with the exhibition Hello, Robot

Posing a series of provocative questions, it explores how popular culture has shaped our perception of robots and artificial humans, the impact this technology has had on industry and the increasing blurring of the boundaries between human and machine.

The exhibition shows the startling impact robots have already had on our world from fashion to architecture and even social care. Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine gives a comprehensive look at the current state of robotics and provides a fascinating vision of the future.

V&A Dundee is also working with Glasgow-based designer Gabriella Marcella, the founder of RISOTTO, whose work will be the focus of a new exhibition in the museum’s Michelin Design Gallery. Gabriella will create an installation exploring the principles of learning through play and how creativity can be supported by the defining constraints of material and colour.

Philip Long, director of V&A Dundee, said: ‘Through an eclectic programme, V&A Dundee aims to inspire people and provoke discussion about the role of design in everyone’s lives.

‘Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt and Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine are both hugely important exhibitions looking at how designers and technology are shaping human experience, both for the better and in ways we find challenging.

‘Dundee is a city at the forefront of videogame design and innovation and we are very much looking forward to working with partners and creative collaborators to deliver a unique programme to accompany our next show.

‘We are also delighted to be working with the highly talented Gabriella Marcella, the founder of RISOTTO, who is creating a dynamic and interactive exhibition investigating how we can learn through play.’

Joris Laarman’s work Bridge Project, which was 3D printed

Sophie McKinlay, director of programme at V&A Dundee, said: ‘Our role as a new design museum is to present an exciting and wide-ranging exploration of the world of design through our programme.

‘Design shapes every aspect of our lives, and through these two major international exhibitions we will look at contemporary practice in videogames and the future impact of robots on every aspect of our lives.’

Professor Gregor White, head of Abertay University’s School of Design and Informatics, said: ‘Dundee is a world-renowned centre for computer games education and a melting pot of Scottish, UK and international games talent so I am delighted that videogames will be the focus of the next major exhibition at V&A Dundee.

‘I’m particularly excited to be working with the team at V&A Dundee to commission a new videogame offering designers a great opportunity to get involved and showcase their creative talent.’

V&A Dundee opened on September 15 with the exhibition Ocean Liners: Speed and Style. The new museum will feature V&A exhibitions, exhibitions from international partner venues, as well as curating its own exhibitions in future.

Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt is on show at V&A South Kensington until 24 February. Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine, developed by Vitra Design Museum, has never been shown in the UK before.